For the second year in a row Performances in the Park (PIP) will be offering a series of pre-recorded concerts on YouTube.
Over eight weeks in the summer, one concert will be released each Thursday evening, beginning July 8 at 7 p.m., said Venta Rutkauskas, PIP series manager and programs manager for the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake.
“We didn’t really have an option to wait it out,” she told the Tribune of the decision to go with pre-recorded concerts because of COVID-19 restrictions. “There’s a lot that goes into both the live and recorded concerts. A lot of people don’t know we make the decisions as early as November for the next season.”
The season will kick off with Pharis and Jason Romero filmed performing at their property in Horsefly.
Three-time Juno Award and multiple Canadian Folk Music Award winners, the Romeros have recently converted an old barn into a concert venue.
“We rarely get to have the Romeros at Performances in the Park because normally they are touring in the summers,” Rutkauskas said.
The rest of the summer series includes:
Ashcroft’s Melawmen Collective, and Indigenous fusion band with a powerful message, July 15.
Thompson Brothers, who grew up in Tatlayko Lake, on July 22.
Hoop dancing with Francis Johnson Sr. of Esk’et and his students on July 29.
Quesnel power femme indie rockers, No Big D take the spotlight Aug. 5.
Shannon O’Donovan, Ben Lamb-Yorski and Clayton Charleyboy perform around a campfire at Onward Ranch in the concert released Aug. 12.
Local up-and-comers , Ebony, a modern string band, is featured Aug. 19, and is comprised of Lucia Johnston, Kate Neufeld, Julia Zirnhelt, Maya Nowotny and Olivia Rouse, with mentors Ingrid Johnston, Greg Nixon and John Christoffersen.
The series closes with Bats and Dao, the fusion of two highly talented musicians Ciel Patenaude and Brent Morton, on Aug. 26.
Harry Jennings, president, Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society said the society is proud, along with the ongoing great municipal support from the Cariboo Regional District and the City of Williams Lake, and so many supportive local sponsors, to be once again able to bring the amazing talent collected for the 2021 edition of Performances In The Park to the Central Cariboo, and virtually to the whole world.
“So much gratitude and thanks to Venta Rutkauskas and technicians Brandon Hoffman and Rick Magnell,” he said.
This year’s sponsors include platinum — Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake Campus and Williams Lake and District Credit Union as gold — West Fraser Truckers Association, silver – Sugar Cane Development Corporation Coyote Rock Estates, Heartland Toyota and Pinnacle Renewable Energy and bronze – Cariboo Handwoven.
If 100 people tune in to watch a concert at 7 p.m. it will be considered a gig with SOCAN and merit royalties for the performers, Rutkauskas said.
Additionally, a ‘Patrons Play Your Part’ fundraising campaign has been launched that requires folks to head over to the Central cariboo arts website at www.centralcaribooarts.com/performances-in-the-park/ she noted.